Inside Politics

Committee Recap: Elections Canada looking into 800 complaints covering 200 ridings: Chief Electoral Officer

Despite fears that he wouldn't be able to provide much in the way of new information on the robocalls controversy, Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand more than lived up to his billing as star witness at committee, and provided a somewhat unexpected, but entirely welcome update on the file to a packed-to-the-rafters-and-then-some committee room. According to Mayrand, as of today, the agency has accepted more than 800 specific complaints -- covering approximately 200 ridings, a number considerably higher than pretty much anyone had been expecting -- and 250 open files currently before the elections commissioner.

Not surprisingly, that didn't go over terribly well on the government side of the table, where Conservative members, apparently unprepared for such detailed disclosure, were forced into an ad hoc defence that involved attempting to downplay the new numbers, as well as suggesting that a good number of the allegedly misdirection calls could have been inadvertent misdirection resulting from inaccurate information on the voters list.  Mayrand, however, took issue with the suggestion that a call that involved posing as Elections Canada could be explained away as an honest mistake, and chided prime ministerial parliamentary secretary Dean Del Mastro for his own "unfounded allegation" that Elections Canada itself was leaking information to reporters. (Somewhat bizarrely, Del Mastro claimed that he had been made aware of this allegation from other (unnamed) reporters, who allegedly called his office to complain about it.)

Relive it all via the liveblog: 

Mobile-friendly auto-updating text feed available here.

Tags: blackberry jungle, elections canada, marc mayrand, procedure and house affairs liveblogging, robocalls

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